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Best Washing Machines: 10 Options That Make Laundry Less of a Chore

Best Washing Machines
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Updated May 27, 2024

As a mother of three who constantly has a load of laundry waiting on me, I have a strong opinion on how to choose the best washing machine. Beyond my personal experience though, I recently purchased a new washing machine and I worked for a major national appliance manufacturer for over 10 years, so I understand how important it is to choose the right washing machine for your household.

Whether you’re outfitting your brand new home, upgrading an older appliance, or your current washing machine died on you, you’ll find my list of top picks helpful for your search.

How to choose the best washing machine

Before getting started with your search, keep certain factors in mind as you compare models—this will help you focus on what’s most important to you and keep the search from getting too overwhelming.

Front-load vs. top-load

The first feature to decide on when shopping for the best washing machine is whether you prefer a top-load or front-load washer. A top-load washing machine means you reach in through the top by opening the lid. A front-load washer means the door is on the front of the machine and swings out versus up. There are advantages and disadvantages to each style, so it’s critical you consider what works best for your household (see Front-loading washing machines vs. top-loading washing machines, which is better? for more information).

Capacity

Capacity refers to the drum size and it’s measured in cubic feet. Washing machines range from 2.5 cubic feet all the way up to 6.0. Capacity is an essential feature to pay attention to because the higher the capacity, then the more you can wash at once. However, many of the larger-capacity models cost more and take up a larger footprint, so you’ll have to balance what works for your laundry needs versus your budget and space requirements.

Features

Today’s washing machines come packed with innovative features designed to make doing laundry slightly less of a chore. There may be some things you feel you can’t live without, such as a delicate cycle, advance wrinkle care, or a bulk dispenser. Other features may feel more like a luxury than a necessity, such as smart connectivity or an allergen cycle but if a feature adds a bit of convenience to your hectic laundry schedule, then it may be worth paying a little extra.

Wash cycles

You can expect a washer to come with basic cycles, including normal, whites, and permanent press. But many of today’s machines include more specific cycles so you don’t have to guess what the optimal setting is. Extra cycles such as bulky bedding, delicates, sanitize, quick wash, and more can make doing laundry easier.

Energy efficiency

Washing machines have come a long way in terms of energy efficiency but not all models are equally energy-efficient. Fortunately it’s super easy to see how efficient a particular model is, so you can choose one using less energy if possible. You can start by checking out the Energy Star website and ratings for the most efficient washers. When you’re out shopping for the washer you can also check the Energy Star label attached to the machine and it will tell you if it meets standard efficiency requirements, if you can save more with a more efficient model, or if it’s the most efficient level.

Our top picks for the best washing machine

Best budget top-loading washing machine: Hotpoint 3.8 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer with Stainless Steel Basket in White

Best budget top-loading washing machine
3.8 cu. ft. Top Load Washer with Stainless Steel Basket in White

3.8 cu. ft. Top Load Washer with Stainless Steel Basket in White

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly washing machine, then consider the Hotpoint 3.8 cu. ft. Top Load Washer with Stainless Steel Basket. It features a central agitator arm, which some top-load users prefer over an impeller washer (that has ribs at the bottom) because it rubs against the clothing more closely and offers better stain treatment. This Hotpoint model features a stainless steel basket, which lasts years longer versus other materials and resists rust and chipping.

Specifications:

  • Type: Top load
  • Capacity: 3.8 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 44” H x 27” W x 27” D
  • Warranty: Limited one year entire appliance warranty
  • Wash cycles: 10, including a stain-removing option
  • Features: Stainless steel basket, dual-action agitator, energy-efficient operation, manual controls
  • Price on publish: $468

What we like:

  • Agitator arm for thorough cleaning
  • 10 wash cycles
  • Four water level loads, so you can get the precise amount of water without wasting it
  • Includes a deep rinse so no detergent or fabric softener residue is left behind

What we don’t like:

  • 3.8 capacity is small compared to other options
  • Manual controls
  • No smart connectivity options

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly solution with few frills but enough features to get a decent clean, then the Hotpoint 3.8 cu. ft. Top Load Washer with Stainless Steel Basket may be your best choice.

Best top-loading washing machine: LG 4.3 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer in White with 4-Way Agitator, NeveRust Drum, and TurboDrum Technology

Best top-loading washing machine
4.3 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer in White with 4-Way Agitator, NeveRust Drum and TurboDrum Technology

4.3 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer in White with 4-Way Agitator, NeveRust Drum and TurboDrum Technology

For those looking for a top-load washer, LG offers this 4.3 cubic foot option with its 4-way agitator. Having an agitator in the top load is perfect if your items are subject to heavy soiling (such as baby clothes or kid’s sports activities), since agitators are extra tough on stains. This LG version has other useful features too, such as a deep fill option if you need extra water, slam proof lid, and a larger capacity for larger loads in case you’re trying to figure out how to wash a comforter you just got.

Specifications:

  • Type: Top load
  • Capacity: 4.3 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 44.5” H x 27” W x 28.38“ D
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Wash cycles: Eight, including a speed wash
  • Features: Stainless steel drum, dual-action agitator, energy-efficient operation, SmartDiagnosis
  • Price on publish: $698

What we like

  • Larger capacity for a top load
  • Agitator arm
  • Offers an impeller arm option
  • Multiple cycles, including a speed wash

What we don’t like

  • May not use enough water to cover clothes without using Deep Fill option
  • Can get wobbly and may require redistributing items during the wash

The bottom line:

The LG top load is packed full of convenient features and a larger capacity, making it a great option for busy, active households.

Best front-loading washing machine: Electrolux 4.5 Cu. Ft. Front Load Washer LuxCare Wash and Perfect Steam in Titanium

Best front-loading washing machine
Electrolux 4.5 Cu. Ft. Front Load Washer LuxCare Wash and Perfect Steam in Titanium

Electrolux 4.5 Cu. Ft. Front Load Washer LuxCare Wash and Perfect Steam in Titanium

The Electrolux Front Load Washer with LuxCare and Perfect Steam lands the top spot for best front-load washer for several reasons. As someone who personally owns this model I can vouch for its superior stain cleaning capabilities. Another feature which I use on a regular basis is the Fast Wash cycle, which thoroughly cleans clothes in 15 minutes.

One of my favorite features is the PODS laundry dispenser. Having a separate dispenser for the popular laundry detergent packs helps to more evenly distribute the detergent through the whole drum, instead of just popping the pod in the washer and the detergent only getting on a fraction of the load.

Specifications:

  • Type: Front load
  • Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 38” H x 27” W x 32” D
  • Warranty: 10-year motor warranty plus lifetime tub warranty
  • Wash cycles: 10, including an activewear and sanitize cycle
  • Features: Interior light, delay start, 15-minute fast wash, laundry detergent PODS dispenser holder, stain treat options
  • Price on publish: $848

What we like:

  • Includes a PODS laundry dispenser for even detergent distribution
  • Fast wash cycle
  • Stain treat options
  • Energy Star certified

What we don’t like:

  • Pricier than other similar models with similar capacity

The bottom line:

The Electrolux front load offers superior stain cleaning capabilities and multiple meaningful features, ideal for those who are serious about getting the most out of their washing machine.

Best budget front-loading washing machine: GE 4.8 Cu. Ft. Smart White Front Load Washer with OdorBlock UltraFresh Vent System and Sanitize with Oxi

Best budget front-loading washing machine
4.8 cu. ft. Smart White Front Load Washer with OdorBlock UltraFresh Vent System and Sanitize with Oxi

4.8 cu. ft. Smart White Front Load Washer with OdorBlock UltraFresh Vent System and Sanitize with Oxi

If you’re looking for a front-load option that’s not as pricey as many other choices but still offers convenient features, check out the GE 4.8 Smart Front Load. It not only includes OdorBlock technology so you can get rid of odors trapped in fabrics, but it also includes Microban® antimicrobial technology for superior sanitation. Another fantastic feature is the Tumble Care, which will tumble the washer drum for up to eight hours after the cycle is complete—preventing those moldy odors you smell when wet clothes sit for too long.

Specifications:

  • Type: Front load
  • Capacity: 4.8 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 39.75” H x 28” W x 32” D
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Wash cycles: 10, including bedding, speed wash, and time saving
  • Features: Add garment (pause), delay start, Wi-Fi enabled, five wash temperatures and five wash speeds
  • Price on publish: $748

What we like:

  • Packed with features
  • Larger 4.8 capacity
  • 10 cycles, five wash speeds, five wash temperatures for customization
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant

What we don’t like:

  • Slightly wider than other front loads

The bottom line:

If budget is a concern, then you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you can get for the money with this GE front-load washing machine.

Best washing machine with smart features: Samsung 5 Cu. Ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Impeller and Active Water Jet in White

Best washing machine with smart features
Samsung 5 Cu. Ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Impeller and Active Water Jet in White

Samsung 5 Cu. Ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Impeller and Active Water Jet in White

We’re all connected to our smartphones these days, so why not have our washing machines connected so we can have an issue quickly diagnosed? The Samsung 5.0 cubic foot High-Efficiency Top Load provides smart connectivity and plenty of innovative features you’d expect from a brand like Samsung. This machine also includes an active water jet, which is basically a built-in water faucet so you can directly pretreat stains or soils with the touch of a button.

Specifications:

  • Type: Top load
  • Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 44.6” H x 27.5” W x 29.4” D
  • Warranty: One-year parts and labor, three-years stainless steel tub, 10-years direct drive motor
  • Wash cycles: 10, including bedding and handwashable
  • Features: Adjustable legs, delay start, soft-close lid, five wash temperatures, five wash speeds
  • Price on publish: $648

What we like:

  • Connectivity offers quick diagnosis of issues
  • Huge 5.0 cu.ft. capacity
  • Deep fill for extra water
  • Comes in an agitator option
  • Energy Star certified
  • Audio assistance and Braille

What we don’t like:

  • Impeller arm, which may not offer highest level of clean
  • No steam option

The bottom line:

The large capacity and smart connectivity of this Samsung top loader makes a great addition to any household that requires multiple loads per week.

Best laundry tower washing machine: Electrolux 4.4 Cu. Ft. Stacked Washer and 8.0 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer Laundry Tower in White with LuxCare Wash

Best laundry tower washing machine
Electrolux 4.4 Cu. Ft. Stacked Washer and 8.0 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer Laundry Tower in White with LuxCare Wash

Electrolux 4.4 Cu. Ft. Stacked Washer and 8.0 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer Laundry Tower in White with LuxCare Wash

A stacked washer and dryer offers a space-saving washer and dryer combination. You can find towers in condos, basements, apartments, and more, or it can offer a smart solution to your home’s tiny laundry room. The sleek Electrolux Stacked Washer includes many of the same features you find on its stand alone front-load washers and dryers, including superior cleanability with its LuxCare system plus plenty of wash and dry cycles for a customized clean.

Specifications:

  • Type: Front load
  • Capacity: 4.4 cubic feet for washer, 8.0 cubic feet for dryer
  • Dimensions: 76.25” H x 27” W x 32” D
  • Warranty: One-year limited warranty
  • Wash cycles: Seven, including delicates and speed wash, seven dry cycles including wrinkle free
  • Features: Delay start, four wash temperatures, four wash speeds
  • Price on publish: $1598

What we like:

  • Sizable capacity for a laundry tower
  • Includes multiple wash and dry cycles for a custom clean
  • Smart sensors for better cleaning and drying
  • Energy Star certified

What we don’t like:

  • No built-in steam function

The bottom line:

If you’re trying to maximize laundry space and need a washer/dryer tower, the Electrolux Stacked Washer offers maximum features for minimal space.

Best all-in-one washer and dryer combo: GE Profile 4.8 Cu. Ft. UltraFast Combo Washer & Dryer With Ventless Heat Pump Technology in Carbon Graphite

Best all-in-one washer and dryer comb
GE Profile 28" ElectricFront LoadWasher Dryer Combo PFQ97HSPVDS

GE Profile 28" ElectricFront LoadWasher Dryer Combo PFQ97HSPVDS

A combo washer and dryer offers both appliances in one unit, unlike a laundry tower where you have a full-size dryer attached to a full-size washer. The GE Profile offers this unique washer/dryer combo option and it’s ideal for anyone who has limited space or just likes the idea of only dealing with one unit for maintenance and convenience. There’s no venting required with this unit either, which means you can install it anywhere it can fit in your space.

Specifications:

  • Type: Front load
  • Capacity: 4.8 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 46.7” H x 28” W x 32” D
  • Warranty: One-year entire appliance warranty, 10-year limited warranty on the motor, five-year limited warranty on the sealed drying system
  • Wash cycles: 12, including an activewear and sanitize cycle, plus 12 dry cycles including wrinkle free and sensor dry
  • Features: Interior light, delay start, remote access, no venting required, Microban® antimicrobial technology
  • Price on publish: $2,298

What we like:

  • Space-saving design
  • 12 wash cycles and 12 dry cycles
  • Packed with features
  • Wash and dry in two hours
  • Store preferred wash and dry settings

What we don’t like:

  • A pricey option for laundry

The bottom line:

If you need a washer/dryer combination unit, then this GE Profile option is sure to impress—unlike combo units in years past, you can wash and dry in less than two hours.

Best large capacity washing machine: Samsung Bespoke 5.3 Cu. Ft. Ultra-Capacity Smart Front Load Washer in Brushed Navy With AI OptiWash and Auto Dispense

Best large capacity washing machine
Samsung Bespoke 5.3 Cu. Ft. Ultra-Capacity Smart Front Load Washer in Brushed Navy With AI OptiWash and Auto Dispense

Samsung Bespoke 5.3 Cu. Ft. Ultra-Capacity Smart Front Load Washer in Brushed Navy With AI OptiWash and Auto Dispense

If capacity is what you’re after, then you don’t want to miss the Samsung Bespoke. Not only does this washer have the highest capacity in its class so you can tackle even more laundry at once, but it’s also packed with convenient features. Features like an automatic dispenser that holds 32 loads worth of detergent, a super speed wash in 28 minutes, and automatic dirt detection makes doing laundry even easier.

Specifications:

  • Type: Front load
  • Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 38.75” H x 27” W x 34.5” D
  • Warranty: Three-year warranty on the stainless steel tub, 10-year motor warranty,
  • Wash cycles: 25, including activewear and sanitize
  • Features: Interior light, delay start, Wi-Fi enabled, steam function
  • Price on publish: $1,098

What we like:

  • Huge capacity so you can do more laundry at once
  • Automatic sensing for soil levels and fabric
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 25 wash cycles
  • Energy Star certified
  • ADA compliant

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too large for some laundry rooms

The bottom line:

Get more laundry done at once with the Samsung Bespoke 5.3 cu.ft. capacity washer so you can move on to more exciting plans.

Most reliable washing machine: Speed Queen 27 Inch Front Load with 3.5 Cu.Ft. Capacity in White

Most reliable washing machine
Speed Queen 27 Inch Front Load with 3.5 Cu.Ft. Capacity in White

Speed Queen 27 Inch Front Load with 3.5 Cu.Ft. Capacity in White

Speed Queen washers have an outstanding reputation for their reliability and performance, and the Speed Queen 27 inch Front Load with 3.5 cu.ft. capacity is no exception. Speed Queen front-load washers have many of the same features you find in commercial washers, such as balancing technology (so the drum isn’t lopsided), larger door openings, and an industry-exclusive flea removal cycle.

Specifications:

  • Type: Front load
  • Capacity: 3.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 40.43” H x 26.88” W x 27.75” D
  • Warranty: 5 year parts and labor
  • Wash cycles: 11, including flea removal, sanitize, and fast wash
  • Features: Stainless steel drum, stain boost, 4-compartment dispenser
  • Price on publish: $2,199

What we like:

  • 11 cycles, including a fast cycle
  • Manufactured in the U.S.
  • Balancing technology for minimal vibration
  • ADA compliant

What we don’t like:

  • Considerably more expensive compared to other brands
  • Smaller service network can make repairs take longer

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for the washer that consistently gets noticed for its reliability and has a proven track record, then look no further than a Speed Queen front load.

Best compact washing machine: Magic Chef 3.0 Cu. Ft. Compact Top Load Washer in White

Best compact washing machine
Magic Chef 3.0 Cu. Ft. Compact Top Load Washer in White

Magic Chef 3.0 Cu. Ft. Compact Top Load Washer in White

A compact washing machine makes a great addition to a condo, apartment, or vacation home, when you have limited space or don’t want a full washer installation. The Magic Chef 3.0 Cu. Ft. Compact Top Load Washer doesn’t skimp on features, even with its smaller 3.0 cu.ft. capacity. It includes LED lighting, 6 wash cycles, 3 wash temperatures, and electronic controls.

Specifications:

  • Type: Top load
  • Capacity: 3.0 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 37” H x 21.7” W x 22.2” D
  • Warranty: One year parts and labor
  • Wash cycles: 6, including bulky items, time saving, and extra rinse
  • Features: Front control, high-efficiency, electronic controls, stainless steel tub
  • Price on publish: $749

What we like:

  • Sleek, compact design ideal for apartments and condos
  • Fully-featured, including a stainless steel drum and LED display
  • 6 convenient cycles and 3 wash temperatures

What we don’t like:

  • High price tag for a small unit
  • Can easily overload the machine

The bottom line:

If space is a concern, then the Magic Chef Compact Top Load washing machine may offer the best space-saving solutions for laundry.

How did I select the best washing machine?

My list of best washing machines came from a combination of multiple data sources. I considered my personal experience with washing machines and my previous background of working for an appliance manufacturer. After reviewing dozens of models and their features, the reviews and pricing were also taken into consideration.

Front-loading washing machines vs. top-loading washing machines, which is better?

Deciding between a front-load or top-load machine comes down to a few factors, which can make one better for your household versus another. In general, front-loading machines offer better water efficiency, clean better, and are more gentle on clothes, which is why many homes prefer a front-load versus a top-load. In many cases they have a larger capacity too and you don’t have to worry about an agitator arm taking up drum space, like you do in a top-load. However, they’re also more expensive, take up more space, and are prone to mold and mildew.

Top-load machines have their own benefits though, including shorter cycle times, less prone to mold and mildew, and it’s easy to add clothes mid-cycle if you have a last-minute add. You’ll find they’re often less expensive up front, too. Ultimately, it comes down to what works best for your household laundry needs.

Tips for washer and dryer usage

The Department of Energy provides many useful tips for saving money in the laundry room and getting the most out of your energy-efficient washers and dryers. Some tips for optimizing your washer and dryer usage include:

  • Wash with cold water. This cuts energy usage in half compared to using warm or hot water.
  • Wash with full loads. Your washer uses the same amount of energy whether you fill it up half-way or all the way, so go ahead and get the most out of it.
  • Switch loads when the dryer is warm. Once you take out a load of clothes from the dryer, go ahead and add another load while it’s still warm. This saves more energy and you can take advantage of the heat already in the dryer.
  • Use dryer balls. Wool or rubber dryer balls help cut drying time by adding more air in between your clothing. They also help reduce static and absorb moisture.
  • Use lower heat settings in the dryer. You’ll use less energy by taking longer at a lower heat, versus cranking up the heat and drying in less time.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do you clean a washing machine?

Both a front-load and top-load washing machine can benefit from a regular cleaning, but first make sure the machines don’t have any items inside them. For front-load machines, add a half-cup of chlorine bleach to the detergent dispenser drawer and then add bleach to the highest fill level in the bleach dispenser. Run a normal machine cycle with warm water and when it’s complete, wipe down the seals and door as needed. For top-loading machines, fill the tub with hot water and add a quart of bleach to the hot water, then run a complete wash and spin cycle.

Which is the most reliable washing machine brand?

You’ll find a wide range of opinions when naming the most reliable washing machine brand, but when you look at customer reviews and recommendations, you’ll find Speed Queen is one of the most frequently recommended. Whirlpool, GE, and Electrolux are other brands with more frequent mentions for reliability too.

How much water does a washing machine use?

It depends on the type of washing machine but in general a high-efficiency front load washer uses around seven gallons of water, a high-efficiency top load washer uses an average of 13 gallons, and a top-load washer with agitator arm uses an average of 19 gallons of water.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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